01/22/10 — Marine's murder trial will move to county

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Marine's murder trial will move to county

By Steve Herring
Published in News on January 22, 2010 1:46 PM

Wayne County will be the site of a June first-degree murder trial for Cesar Laurean, a former Marine corporal who is charged in the 2007 bludgeoning death of a pregnant Marine.

Laurean, who is accused of killing Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, is currently in the Onslow County Jail.

He was indicted in January 2008 by an Onslow grand jury on a first-degree murder charge in connection with Ms. Lauterbach's death.

According to published reports, District 4 District Attorney Dewey Hudson will hold a press conference Monday afternoon to announce the decision to move the trial to Wayne County.

Hudson could not be reached for comment prior to press time this morning.

However, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Arnold Jones confirmed the case would be moved to Wayne.

"I spoke with Judge Henry Charles. He is the Senior Resident Superior Court Judge for Onslow," Jones said. "He said that the case will be transferred to Wayne County and will be heard in June."

Jones said he had spoken with Charles several times about the case over the past several weeks, but that as of this morning, he had not received the official notice of the order of transfer.

Lauterbach's charred remains and that of her unborn child were found in January 2008 buried in the back yard of Laurean's home in the Half Moon community in Onslow County.

Laurean fled and was arrested in Mexico in April 2008 and was returned to Onslow.

The murder and Laurean's flight have been the subject of local, state and national news coverage.

His attorney filed for the change in venue claiming that pre-trial publicity would keep his client from receiving a fair trial.